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Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY is Opening a Movie Theater in Los Angeles

A distribution company, arts and advocacy collective, a post-production facility and now a movie theater. Ava DuVernay-founded multimedia company ARRAY is expanding yet again!

The announcement was made on Monday via Twitter, “It's official! We have some exciting news that we've been waiting to share with you all!”

 

 

Per IndieWire,

It's an impressive achievement, but the next step in the compound’s buildout is a state-of-the-art, 50-seat theater that will screen the half-dozen ARRAY titles it plans to release in 2019 and work by local artists, and will be made available for rental.

ARRAY has been advocating for black filmmakers since its inception in 2010 and makes it possible for them to reach bigger audiences. The company's most recent release titled The Burial of Kojo (directed by Blitz Bazawule) was described as 'a dazzling modern fable' by The New York Times.

“It’s really a labor of love, which is all driven by a desire to be in service of people, our filmmakers, and our audience.” VP Tilane Jones said about ARRAY's upcoming venture, “It’s about not only ownership but also access. We are really trying to honor the theatrical tradition, so our audience has access to work they may not see elsewhere, effectively changing the mindset of what they believe should or should not be on the big screen.”

 

 

Film & Television

First look at the Mahalia Jackson biopic starring Danielle Brooks

Mahalia Jackson is known as one of the greatest gospel singers of all time. On Feb. 3, Lifetime will premiere her story on the small screen in Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia.

Produced by Robin Roberts (Good Morning America) and directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (American Son), the film stars Grammy-Award winning actress Danielle Brooks portraying the legendary gospel singer focusing on her civil rights activism. 

The Mahalia Jackson story arrives Feb. 3. Watch the trailer below.

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Film & Television

‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’: Sneak Peek

The release of highly anticipated Space Jam sequel is nearing, and today, fans got a tiny peek at what is coming thanks to HBO’s newly released promo video that included this short visual of Lebron James and Bugs Bunny.

Space Jam: A New Legacy is scheduled for a July release.

Starring in the live-action/animated sports comedy, alongside James are Don Cheadle and Sonequa Martin-Green. Returning are the Looney Tunes characters – Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, and Daffy Duck. Basketball stars including Anthony DavisChris PaulDamian Lillard, Diana Taurasi, Cheney Ogwumike, and Nneka Ogwumike are also featured in the movie.

 Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip, The Best Man) is directing. Black Panther‘s Ryan Coogler is producing.

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Film & Television

‘One Night In Miami’: Regina King on her decision to cast non-U.S. actors to portray American characters

While speaking at a BAFTA Masterclass in London on Tuesday (Jan 12), in reference to British actor Kingsley Ben-Adir portraying Malcolm X and Canadian actor Eli Goree playing a young Muhammad Ali, director Regina King said: “If I was moved by a performance, I really don’t care where a person’s from.” She also stated, “As an audience member, to me they truly understood what they were doing, what they were embodying. After Kingsley’s first audition, I wanted to give him some notes. I wanted to just talk to him and get to know him and get to know what his relationship was to Malcolm. He said all the things that I needed to hear him say and I think it’s unfortunate that this is where we are.”

She continued, “One of the things that I’ve truly understood or discovered throughout this process of One Night in Miami, is that upon first receiving this and reading it, I thought, ‘Wow, Kemp, this is just a love letter to the black man’s experience in America.’ But then taking that step back and really taking in marginalized people across the world. There are feelings and experiences that black people in the UK, in Brazil feel that are the same as in America. While the history of how a country came to be may be different, the marginalization of a black man is the same, colorism is the same in all of those places.

“Kingsley was the best actor for that role and Eli was the best actor for that role. Sure, neither one of them are American. But can they relate to the experience and the pain felt by a black person for being disregarded just because of the color of your skin? Absolutely, they can. Can they take it upon themselves to make sure they educate themselves on the ways it’s specific to America in the history of how black Americans had built this country, it was built on the bodies of Black Americans? They can definitely educate themselves on that and they did. I wouldn’t change my choices for anyone.”

The debate about British actors being chosen over American talent has intensified in recent years with actors David Oyelowo, Cynthia Erivo and Daniel Kaluuya portraying civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr, Harriet Tubman and Fred Hampton, respectively. Some argue that non-American actors should not get these roles. Others find no issue in it whatsoever. What side of the argument are you on? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

King’s directorial debut, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival last year, will launch on Amazon Prime January 15.

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